Harlem senior point guard DeMarcus Morris remembers his younger days with a smile.
Like many Grovetown children, he grew up playing and learning basketball at Goodale Park. The street courts see their share of talented players, and DeMarcus is one of them.
"I wasn't always good. I couldn't even do a left-handed layup," he said. "I wasn't the first one picked (to play) then. I am now."
He should be. As Harlem High School's starting point guard, DeMarcus has hovered between 14 and 15 points per game. The scoring typically comes with flair, speed, spins and twists unmatched by any other guard in the county.
"It's funny because sometimes you don't even have to watch. You can just listen to the crowd go 'ooh and aah' and know it's Dee," Harlem boys basketball coach Kim Chambers said.
The remarks came after one of DeMarcus' more impressive games of his career. Playing in a subregion game at Thomson on Jan. 26, the senior hit 11 of 13 shots from the field, went 2-for-2 from the free-throw line and scored 29 points. Chambers said the performance was one of the best he's seen at Harlem.
"I remember one time Chris Williams made six 3-pointers in a game to beat Westside. Well, this one matched it," he said. "I don't remember what (Williams) shot from the field, but I don't ever remember anyone shooting 11 for 13."
DeMarcus has been a starter for the Bulldogs since his sophomore year. Since then, his acrobatic drives and quick pull-up jumpers have kept Harlem crowds entertained. His teammates said they see more of the same out of him in practice.
"He never gets tired, for some reason. I don't know what's wrong with him," junior Mike Leverett said. "All I know is I just get the rebound and turn around and look for Dee."
The Bulldogs once again will look to DeMarcus for leadership this weekend with the beginning of the Region 3-AAA Tournament. Harlem picked up a big 74-72 overtime victory against Cross Creek on Friday and entered the week with a 2-7 subregion record. In order to get one of four state tournament bids, the Bulldogs will need to grab at least two wins in the region tournament. Chambers said DeMarcus will lead the team in his own way.
"He's a quiet leader," Chambers said. "He's not vocal, but he has the respect of every one of those players. When he does speak everyone listens."
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